On this day in 1864, the U.S.Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864, directing that the inscription In God We Trust be placed on all coins minted in U.S. currency. It replaced a previous inscription and seemed odd to do in the middle of the Civil War. The United States of America had a population of around 34,000,000 and was fighting for unity.
Today, you will not only see that inscription on coins but also notes. There have been many interesting comments raised as to which God they trust the most. But despite these statements, the IGWT theme itself rose from honourable origins.
In God We Trust is a significant comment to make. Proverbs 16:32b tells us (in a sense) that it's easier to get this worthy inscription printed on a country's coinage than to change the nature of one of its citizens.
Does it matter what's written on a coin? Bringing people together under one Godly banner is essential for a nation, but does that make any difference to a citizen's personal relationship with God?
In the forty years of Israel's desert experience, the High Priest wore a narrow gold crown with the inscription 'Holiness Unto The Lord.' Did that make those co-travellers holy? Did it change the hearts of that generation of unbelievers? No. It didn't have the slightest impact upon that entire group. Their habits didn't change. Their behaviours didn't modify. Their speech was not holy, nor did they trust in the God of their salvation.
Only Joshua and Caleb made a difference to themselves and crossed over into that glorious Promised Land. In God We Trust WAS their motto.
Do words above the front door or website of your church permanently change your behaviour?
Trusting in God is a choice that only comes from the individual heart of every person. It's not a coin inscription or a cross on a wall that changes us. It is the power of the Holy Spirit and our decisions. Trusting in God is possibly the most critical long term resolution we will make. When we hang onto God through the ups and downs of life's billowing peaks and ever-so-low troughs, through the disappointments, the loneliness, the changes in society, and the personal agonies we endure, blessings greater than we can ever imagine flow in. The Lord loves blessing His people.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, my trust in you wavers depending on the situation. When the bigger trials come I fear and lose faith. Please give me the strength to trust in you no matter what comes my way. You are my strongest refuge, my greatest friend, and my Almighty God.
Photo by Cerqueira